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Neapolitan Mastiff Breed Information and Photos

Category Mastiff
This ancient breed is massive and imposing in appearance. It is distinguished by its heavy-boned, muscular body and an abundance of wrinkles on the head. This guide is about neapolitan mastiff breed information and photos.


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By 1 found this helpful
March 29, 2006
Breed Description: This ancient heavy-boned breed is massive and imposing in appearance. Originally bred for guarding home and property, the Neapolitan Mastiff is distinguished by his broad, flat skull, very muscular body, and an abundance of wrinkles and folds on his head. Agile and majestic, this courageous dog has a calm, even temper and when properly trained, makes an excellent watchdog and family companion.

Group: Working Group

Purpose of Breed: Guarding, fighting

Country of Origin: Italy

Average Size: Depending on sex, Neapolitans range from 24 to 30 inches and can weight up to 165 pounds.


Color(s): Typically blue, black, tawny, or mahogany. The Neo can be either solid or brindle.

Coat Type: Short, thick, and shiny.

Grooming: This breed is an average shedder that requires regular brushing to keep its coat in top condition. Standard care is required for ears, pads, and nails. Eyes should be inspected closely on a regular basis.

Exercise Needs: Despite their large size, Neapolitans do not need a lot of exercise. They prefer to lounge around and enjoy a fenced backyard. That said, they are not suited to apartment living and need plenty of physical space to accommodate their large size.

Temperament: The Neapolitan Mastiff was originally bred for guarding and fighting. Today the breed has a gentle and steady temperament to friends and family, but is still wary of strangers and willing to go to great lengths to defend home and property. Protective and alert, this breed can be a heavy drooler when nervous or eating and consumes up to a gallon of food per day. Due to his large size, the Neapolitan Mastiff needs a confident trainer who is both calm and assertive and can maintain proper leadership. Females of this breed are somewhat more submissive than males. This loyal dog does well with children, but due to its large size, should be supervised when around small children.


Common Ailments: Susceptible to hip dysplasia, immune system problems, "growing pains," heart problems, hypothyroidism, cleft pallets (or tail problems) and cherry eye.

Life Expectancy: Averages 8-10 years.

Trivia: It is thought that it was Alexander the Great who first brought the Neapolitan Mastiff to Italy, where the dogs were taken to war by the Romans and matched up against wild animals such as lions and elephants.

More Information: United States Neapolitan Mastiff Club

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By 0 found this helpful
April 9, 2011

My Neapolitan Mastiff turned 5 months old. I've kept him on a vegetarian diet, as the climate in India is hot and humid in the summers. I feed him boiled carrot, beet root, spinach, chic peas, french beans, and parsley mixed with rice twice a day. Also, I feed him roasted semolina with milk, 1 banana, and 1 boiled egg at breakfast and curd rice in the afternoon. He is 27 kgs. (59 1/2 lbs.) and looks very skinny. I don't know if it's enough.


By ganesh marke from Mumbai, India


April 9, 20110 found this helpful

I'm not an expert, but I suspect the dog needs much more protein. Wild dogs wouldn't be eating all those vegetables, so it seems logical to me that a domesticated dog would need a lot of meat. I don't understand . . . why do heat and humidity affect giving him meat? Also, one of the archived comments below mentions the amount of fat in their diet. Based on what you've told us, this large dog is getting all his fat from just one egg yolk a day.

Have you done an internet search on neapolitan mastiff? Here is what I got. … p;rlz=1I7GGIH_en

Please take a look. There are lots of websites, and I bet there is information and message boards with discussions about their diets. And it wouldn't hurt to consult with a veterinarian.


Like I said, I'm not an expert. It has been ages since I had a dog, but when I did they got a lot more protein than yours is getting (and they were smaller animals, too). Good luck with your dog!

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April 10, 20110 found this helpful

Actually, dogs are carnivores. As far as the veggies are that's okay but he needs more protein. I don't know what is available in India but fish oil is good for them. I have fed my dogs sardines mixed in there food or omega 3 capsules once a day. I would leave the milk alone and mix the rice, veggies, chicken, liver or beef in your dog food. He needs more food then you are giving him. Is he on a parasite medicine? Check his stool for worms. You can buy Timberwolf organics lamb and venison. It is #1 and feed a 25 pound dog 4 cups per day.

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April 10, 20110 found this helpful

Take him to a vet and have him checked out right away to see if he is healthy would be my best advice. Then take his or her advice on your breed of dog as to the best diet or check with your kennel club for advice.

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April 11, 20110 found this helpful

The recomendations from AAFCO via my local vet recommend the following for a large breed puppy. 27% protein (meat, eggs, fish, cottage cheese). 1 to 2.5% calcium, 9 to 12% fat. The remainder should be energy food (carbohydrates and vegetable matter) Puppies under 6 months should be fed 3 times a day, what they will eat in 10 minutes. Over 6 months, puppies should be fed 2 times a day. The diet you are preparing is not supplying enough protein or fat.


You mentioned you restrict protein because the climate is hot. Restricting your puppies protein does not have a large impact on his body temperature, but could really hurt his growth and health. Dogs and cats cannot be vegeterians. You would need to find another way to keep him cool. It sounds like you work hard at caring for your puppy. It might be easier to feed a prepared dog food; or be sure to add more protein and fat to his diet. While he is growing so rapidly he may remain thin (thin, not emaciated) until he is a year or so old, and then he will fill out. Good luck with your puppy.

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February 8, 20130 found this helpful

I have a 45 day old, honey colour, male, Neapolitan Mastiff. I would like to know how many times to feed it in a day and what should his diet consist of? What time should he be fed?

By K. B. Prasad


February 10, 20130 found this helpful

Hello, Congrats on your new fur baby. Please call your veterinarian for an appointment. Your baby is over 6 weeks and needs to have his first set of vaccinations. Your Veterinarian will answer any questions you have about the feeding program for your baby. Mastiff's are large boned dogs and may require a special diet.
Have fun with your baby...

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By 0 found this helpful
December 2, 2013

I have always loved this breed, the Neapolitan Mastiff. It's always been a dream of mine to have one and make him/her part of my family. I soon will be able to do so! My question is, "what is the best type of food I can get for my Mastiff?" I have 2 mini Schnauzers right now and I have them on grain free kibble from Merrick's. I also have read that it's not good to feed a Mastiff puppy, puppy kibble either. Anyone who is willing to give advice or recommend certain diets, please do so. I will greatly appreciate it. Thank you.

By Angie Nuez S. from Riverside, CA

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Share on ThriftyFunCheck out these photos. Click at right to share your own photo in this guide.

October 19, 2016

Your Pet's Age
8 years next month

Your Pet's Breed
Italian Mastiff

How and when did you get your pet?
Rescued - 7 years ago.

What does your pet like to do for fun?
She likes to snuggle and laugh, her whole body wiggles when she laughs :)

Do you have anything else to share about your pet?
She is the best dog on the planet. She just took her first train ride to Boston and loved it and everyone on the train loved her.

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By 0 found this helpful
December 12, 2008

Emma is 4.5 years and an English Mastiff. I got her as a puppy in Chiliwack BC. Breeders. She likes to hip check you... lol. She's a pretty lazy dog but when she has energy we take her for a short walk.

She is a big part of my family! She loves children and lets kids ride on her back until she decides that's enough and sits down. She snores very loudly and has a flatulence problem :( We still love her!

By Karen from Delta, BC

mastiff portrait

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